How to set up an Android phone as a security camera with remote access

Discover how you can turn an Android phone into an IP camera with remote access over Meshnet.


Home security cameras are becoming a popular purchase in many households. You feel a sense of security when you have constant surveillance over your property. Given the high cost of purchasing a full security camera system and the uncertainty around the need for one, many people are turning to more affordable alternatives.
One such option is repurposing an older Android phone as a security camera, which is both cost-effective and simple to set up. However, if you want to access the camera remotely, you need to configure port forwarding on your router.
Fortunately, you can completely bypass port forwarding by using Meshnet. With Meshnet, you can connect remote devices to virtual networks, allowing each device to communicate with one another as if they were on the same local area network (LAN).
This guide contains instructions on how you can create a remotely accessible security camera using an older Android phone and Meshnet.

Before you begin

Make sure that:
The article demonstrates the setup procedure using Android 13 as an example.

Install IP Webcam software

With all of the prerequisites taken care of, you can install IP Webcam — the application that will turn your phone into a security camera. You can download IP Webcam for free from the Google Play Store.
Tapping the Install button.

Set up login credentials

By default, the IP Webcam interface does not require any authentication. To minimize the risk of unauthorized access, it is best to secure your camera with strong login credentials. To enable login authentication:
  1. 1.
    Open IP Webcam.
  2. 2.
    Under Connection settings, tap the Local broadcasting option.
    Tapping the Local broadcasting option.
  3. 3.
    Select Login/password.
  4. 4.
    Enter your desired username and password combination and click OK.
    Entering username and password and tapping OK.

Select a recording location

It is recommended to select a specific directory for your recordings. This way, all of the footage is organized and easily accessible. To choose a folder:
  1. 1.
    Open IP Webcam.
  2. 2.
    Under IP Webcam settings, select Video preferences.
  3. 3.
    Tap Video recording > Save videos to.
  4. 4.
    Select your preferred folder or create a new one and tap Use this folder.

Start your security camera

Your phone is now fully prepared to function as a security camera. To start the IP Webcam server:
  1. 1.
    Open IP Webcam.
  2. 2.
    Tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner and select Start server.
    Tapping Start server.
  3. 3.
    If requested, grant IP Webcam the required permissions.
After a few seconds, the camera output will be visible on-screen.

Access your security camera over Meshnet

Your security camera is now active, and you can access it either from your local network or remotely, using Meshnet.
  1. 1.
    Copy the Nord name of your new security camera from the NordVPN application.
  2. 2.
    Open your internet browser.
  3. 3.
    In the URL field, paste the copied Nord name, add :8080, and press Enter. Example secret.meerkat-sierranevada.nord:8080
  4. 4.
    Type in your login username and password and click Sign in.
    Logging in to the IP Webcam web interface.
  5. 5.
    Next to Video renderer, select Browser to monitor your camera in real-time.
    Selecting the Browser video renderer.

Start recording

To start recording the footage of your security camera, click the Record manual button under Recorder control in the IP Webcam web interface.
Starting a recording.
After you have started the recording, you will see the name of the file in which the footage is being saved.
Name of the recording.
If you wish to stop the recording, click the Stop button.

View recorded footage

You can check all of the recorded footage from your security camera in the Video archive tab of the IP Webcam web interface.
Recordings in the Video archive tab.
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